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Our interdisciplinary team of experts

  • Iva Baršić
    Iva Baršić
  • Ema Ćerimagić
    Ema Ćerimagić
  • Marta Dugandžić
    Marta Dugandžić
  • Valentina Guštin
    Valentina Guštin
  • Nikolina Lednicki
    Nikolina Lednicki
  • Đevaire Memedi
    Đevaire Memedi
  • Ina Pajković
    Ina Pajković
  • Martina Radanović
    Martina Radanović
  • Gabrijela Radić
    Gabrijela Radić
  • Lucija Rogina
    Lucija Rogina
  • Jörg Scherer
    Jörg Scherer
  • Mirna Vela
    Mirna Vela
  • Smiljka Vikić-Topić
    Smiljka Vikić-Topić
  • Ivana Vuka
    Ivana Vuka
  • Antonija Zrno Ćulap
    Antonija Zrno Ćulap
Iva Baršić
Team Assistant

Ema Ćerimagić
Project Manager

Ema Cerimagic has a humanities and social sciences background with MA degrees in Art History and Museology and Heritage Management. Before joining the Eurice team, she acquired experience at the national body implementing EU-funded programmes and initiatives in Croatia and at several international cultural institutions in Italy. She has been responsible for project cycle management, research coordination and policy work on inclusion and diversity. As a certified Prince2 project manager, Ema now uses her knowledge and experience by managing collaborative international research projects at RISE.

Marta Dugandžić
Communications Manager

Before starting her career in corporate communication, Marta Dugandzic studied journalism in Zagreb and obtained her master’s degree in corporate communication from Baruch college in New York City. She gained experience in journalism and worked in the marketing communication department at a digital marketing agency in New York City. Marta later returned to media work: For TV, where she worked as a scriptwriter, director and executive producer and for radio, where she was executive producer, sales and marketing coordinator and, later, program director. In addition, she has experience in developing and executing marketing campaigns, finding tailored solutions for various project needs, social media strategy, content creation (both digital and print), and creating audio-visual materials. She joined the RISE team in 2023.

Valentina Guštin
Communications Manager

Valentina Gustin obtained her master's degree with a major in Marketing at the Faculty of Economics and Business in Zagreb. She gained work experience as a marketing and sales manager in the furniture production industry and as a project manager assistant working on various projects and products for the HR industry. Her interests lie in marketing, PR, and project management. Valentina joined the RISE team in May 2023.

Nikolina Lednicki
Communications Manager

Nikolina Lednicki is a Marketing and Communications professional with over 5 years of experience. She is pursuing her PhD in Marketing at the University of Ljubljana, where she conducts research on crisis communication. In addition to her studies, she worked as a Dissemination and Communication Officer on the European Processor Initiative project at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER). Before joining FER, Nikolina worked at the Voice of Entrepreneurs Association and the European Parliament Liaison Office in Croatia, where she gained expertise in public relations, content creation, and social media management.

Đevaire Memedi
Project Manager

After completing a master’s degree in financial management, Djevaire Memedi started her career in administration. She gained several years of experience in project management, working for an international consulting company and coordinating social international projects financed by the European Commission. Djevaire’s professional experience in project management helped establish her love of cross-border collaboration. She strongly believes that innovative ideas with a social impact should be shared and discussed through collaborative partnerships. Djevaire speaks Albanian, Macedonian, Croatian and English.

Ina Pajković
Communications & Design Manager

Ina Pajković began her career as a graphic designer whilst studying at the Faculty of Graphic Arts in Zagreb, Croatia. After completing her master's degree, she further improved her abilities by gaining experience in both graphic and web design. While working in several different agencies and a Software as a service (SaaS) company, she gained valuable insights into the different aspects and skills needed from a designer, which shaped her into a versatile graphic and digital designer. Ina takes great pleasure in utilising her acquired skills to create user-friendly visuals and interfaces, while continually acquiring new knowledge and experiences.

Martina Radanović
Project Manager

After obtaining a master's degree with a major in management, Martina Radanovic gained business experience within management, marketing and communications teams in various international companies. Before joining Eurice, she was responsible for a gaming and esports start-up's strategy, operations and management. Project management is something Martina takes pleasure in and likes, making sure all the minor elements come together to make a project as effective as possible. Martina joined the RISE team in January 2023.

Gabrijela Radić
Senior Project Manager
Team lead

After earning her Master's degree in Experimental Biology from the University of Zagreb, Gabrijela Radic gained valuable experience in implementing EU projects and proposal writing while working at the Office for Technology Transfer at the University of Zagreb School of Medicine (UZSM). She was actively involved in the Alliance4Life_ACTIONS project, a bottom-up initiative of twelve leading life science institutions from eleven EU-13 countries aiming to close the divide in European health research and innovation. In addition to her experience with EU-funded projects, Gabrijela also worked on various national and privately funded projects/clinical trials, including those funded by the pharma industry. Subsequently, she transitioned to the Department for Research and Innovation at the University of Split, where she honed her skills in managing and implementing EU contracts and grants within complex organisational structures. In 2023, Gabrijela joined our team as Project Manager, bringing her vast knowledge and expertise with her.

Lucija Rogina
Project Manager

After earning her Master’s degree in food engineering, Lucija Rogina embarked on her professional journey in project management at Tera Tehnopolis Ltd. She continued her career path at the University of Zagreb School of Medicine (UZSM), where she was involved in project proposals, project coordination and implementation and in scientific studies. She was part of different national and international projects, such as OSTEOGROW and OSTEOproSPINE, both coordinated by UZSM in the fields of translational science and drug development. These projects sparked her interest in intellectual property rights and technology transfer, leading her to study Intellectual Property at the University of Zagreb. In 2022, Lucija was honoured with the prestigious LifeArc-AUTM technology transfer fellowship. Lucija is passionate about connecting academia with innovation and industry players, thereby driving progress in research and technology.

Jörg Scherer
Managing Director

Jörg Scherer, Managing Director and Founder of Eurice, has been working as a Research & Development Manager and Business Advisor in both the academic and industrial sectors for over 20 years. Having founded Eurice in 2000, he acts as a senior innovation management expert for different units of the European Commission, Executive Agencies as well as business and research associations at the national and European level. He has an outstanding track record of coordinating and participating in more than 60 European research and innovation projects ranging from FP4 to Horizon 2020. He has been working as an innovation expert, evaluator, advisor, trainer and coach for EC services, the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), research organisations, business incubators and technology transfer centres in Europe. Jörg is frequently invited by the EU Commission to speak about and conduct training sessions on Intellectual property (IP) and innovation management and business development. Involved in the activities of the European IPR Helpdesk for more than a decade, he has been coordinating a comprehensive IP capacity-building scheme with over 60 training sessions and more than 4,000 participants per year. With the beginning of the new contractual period in 2019, he has taken on the role of the European IP Helpdesk coordinator.

Mirna Vela
Project Manager

Mirna Vela joined RISE as a project manager in 2023. Her undergraduate studies in management and graduate studies in service leadership and innovation at the Rochester Institute of Technology are a fantastic basis for her diverse career. She has professional experience leading projects in fields such as event planning, manufacturing, language education, translation and systems implementations in various business settings. Mirna enjoys applying her skills, knowledge and experience in diverse environments and continually acquiring new knowledge and experiences.

Smiljka Vikić-Topić
Senior Research and Innovation Manager
Head of Office

Smiljka Vikic-Topic began her career as a researcher in molecular biology at the University of Zagreb’s faculty of natural sciences. She has been a researcher and contract research manager in the pharma industry for 14 years. While spending a total of four years in the USA, she worked in molecular biology labs at Wake Forest University, NIH and Mayo Clinic. She was later trained at the NIH Office of Technology Transfer. In 2009, Smiljka established an office for technology transfer at the University of Zagreb School of Medicine (UZSM), working extensively on implementing EU projects and proposal writing with an emphasis on impact and results exploitation (such as OSTEOGROW and OSTEOproSPINE coordinated by UZSM). She also teaches soft skills for doctoral studies in biomedicine and occasionally evaluates projects with commercialisation activities. Smiljka is an active member and VP-Europe of the knowledge transfer association ASTP. In addition, she is engaged in the Alliance4Life_ACTIONS project, a bottom-up initiative of twelve leading life science institutions from eleven EU-13 countries aiming to close the divide in European health research and innovation. In January 2023, she joined the Eurice team as a Senior Research and Innovation Manager and became head of the Croatian branch of Eurice, RISE – Research and Innovation Services d.o.o., Zagreb.

Ivana Vuka
Innovation Manager

Ivana Vuka has earned a Master's degree in Marine Biology and Ecology and a PhD in Neuroscience. She has almost a decade of experience in technology transfer and intellectual property (IP) management. As the former head of the Technology Transfer Office at the University of Split, she managed numerous national and EU-funded projects, such as the Enterprise Europe Network, ERA FABRIC, OTIMEDT and the Proof of Concept grant scheme. Ivana has also served as an IP Helpdesk Ambassador, providing training on innovation, IP, and commercialisation. She holds the prestigious position of RM Roadmap Ambassador for Croatia, promoting the professional recognition of research and innovation managers across Europe. Now at RISE as Innovation Manager, Ivana coordinates the European IP Helpdesk activities for ‘Widening’ countries.

Antonija Zrno Ćulap
Project Manager

After obtaining her Master's degree in political science and gaining work experience at a national Ministry and in an NGO, Antonija Zrno Culap discovered her passion for project management. Prior to joining RISE in 2023, she worked at the University of Zagreb (Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering), where she managed projects funded by the European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT). Although her primary interest lies in political sociology, Antonija thoroughly enjoys being part of scientific projects that foster innovations impacting society.